RQdN Home > Mystery > The Da Vinci Code Find Related Books

Analysis of the Da Vinci Code
The Da Vinci Code
Holy Blood, Holy Grail
Holy Blood, Holy Grail
Holy Blood, Holy Grail

       In late 1982, after six years of research, authors Michael Baigent, Henry Lincoln, and Richard Leigh published a book, Holy Blood, Holy Grail, which not only became an international best seller but also and set off a firestorm of debate. Was Jesus actually married to Mary Magdalene? Did they bear children together? Was there a secret sect guarding this lineage? While the authors never claimed to have a tenable hypothesis, they instead based their book on suppositions and conjecture, and leave it up to the reader to question and explore matters further.

The Da Vinci Code The Da Vinci Code
The Da Vinci Code

       Twenty years later, one such reader did just that. Enter author Dan Brown, who published his book, The Da Vinci Code, and further fanned the flames of debate. However, while the authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail admittedly used suppositions and conjecture in the writing of their book, author Dan Brown took it one step further and layed claimed to the hypothesis and labled it as "fact." Playing a cat and mouse game, Dan Brown has represented in many interviews that his book is merely a work of fiction, but rather than leave it at that he further adds that his book is based upon factual information and historical accounts.

       This article examines and demystifies those things alleged as "fact" in The Da Vinci Code, and reveals the truth by separating fact from fiction.



The book, The Da Vinci Code, begins with this troubling statement labled as fact:

FACT:

The Priory of Sion --
A European secret society founded in
1099 -- is a real organization.
In 1975, Paris's Bibliohèque Nationale
discovered parchments known as Les
Dossiers Secrets
, identifying numerous
members of the Priory of Sion, including
Sir Isaac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo,
and Leonardo da Vinci.

The Vatican prelature known as Opus
Dei is a deeply devout Catholic
sect that has been the topic of recent
controversy due to reports of brain-
washing, coercion, and a dangerous
practice known as "corporal mortification."
Opus Dei has just completed construction
Of a $74 million National Headquarters at
243 Lexington Avenue in new York City.

All descriptions of artwork, architecture,
documents, and secret rituals in this novel
are accurate.


       On its face, the opening statement of The Da Vinci Code (see excerpt right) is seemingly 100% accurate. However, it is what has been omitted by the author and intentionally withheld from the reader that makes the entire statement false in the manner in which it is presented and, thus, making the claims of the author suspect at best. Since this beginning statement is the premise for the book which the reader is reminded of by repeated mention of the Priory of Sion and the Opus Dei throughout its pages, it is not by chance that certain information was omitted by the author, because had the reader known the true facts, it is almost certain that the book would be just another work of fiction without the controversy and the resulting extrodinary book sales. Below we will examine this opening statement and include for the reader the omitted information for a clearer understanding of the book and the possible intentions of its author.

       Let's carefully examine the first sentance. "The Priory of Sion -- A European secret society founded in 1099 -- is a real organization." While this statement is true, in and of itself, it is what has been omitted that is cause for concern. There is absolutely no evidence that the Priory of Sion of 1099 existed after 1617. In fact, the Priory of Sion which is referred to in the book was created by Pierre Plantard (1920-2000) in 1962 (it was also created as an association by Plantard in 1954 for low cost housing but that venture was abandoned). With an intent on becoming famous and thus wealthy, Pierre Plantard together with Philippe de Chérisey (1925-1985) crudely forged and aged parchments to create the "Les Dossier Secrets d'Henri Lobineau" (The Secret Records of Henri Lobineau), and then planted them in the Bibliohèque Nationale in Paris (the French national library), with the intent that they be later found and used to verify the claims being made by Plantard. During this same time period, in what could be called Phase Two of the plan, Plantard collaborated on a book with Gérard de Sède (1921-2004) entitled "Les Templiers sont parmi nous" (The Templars are Among Us) which helped tie everything together -- the authentication of the forged parchments, the existence of a Priory of Sion, and, thus, Plantard's claim of being a direct descendent of the kings of France and Mary Magdalene. All three tricksters, Plantard, Chérisey, and Sède, just sat back and waited for the parchments to be discovered -- and waited, and waited. Then in 1975, in what could be considered Phase Three of their plan, the planted parchments were found and the story of the Priory of Sion grew in notoriety -- as did the tricksters fame.

       Two decades later, with fame and fortune all but passing him by, Plantard knew that something was needed to spark interest in the Priory of Sion again. So, in 1993, during a judicial inquiry into a government corruption scandal involving Roger-Patrice Pelat, Plantard voluntairly came forward to offer evidence that Pelat had been a "Grand Master" of the Priory of Sion as evidenced by parchments in Plantard's possession (whether originally included in his list of Grand Masters by coincidence or later added is unknown). Suspecting that there was more to Plantard's story, French Judge Thierry Jean-Pierre ordered a search of Plantard's home. The search uncovered more parchments, one of which amazingly proclaimed that Plantard was the true successor to the throne of France. Not humored by the discovery of the caché of documents and their brazen claims, the Judge ordered Plantard held for 48-hours, during which time Plantard was questioned about the parchments. Under oath, Plantard recanted his claims regarding the Priory of Sion and admitted that he helped forged the parchments and made the whole thing up. After a stern warning by the Judge not to "play games" with the French judicial system, Plantard was released from custody. Having revealed his "Secret Documents" were nothing but a hoax, Plantard died in relative obscurity.

       In 2004, the age of the Internet, author Dan Brown could not have missed these important "facts" regarding Pierre Plantard. Instead, he simply chose to omit them in order to strengthen his story line knowing full well that it could not possibly be true. So, to say that "The Priory of Sion -- A European secret society founded in 1099 -- is a real organization" while true, is a very misleading statement and intended to make the reader assume that this is the very same ancient Priory of Sion upon which the story line of the The Da Vinci Code is based, rather than the Priory of Sion that came centuries later as a result of the fabrication by Pierre Plantard. In order for the statement to be accurate and truthful, for the purposes of the book, it would need to read:

FROM THE DA VINCI CODE:

The Priory of Sion -- A European secret society founded in 1099 -- is a real organization.


FACTUAL STATEMENT:

The Priory of Sion -- A European secret society founded in 1099 -- is a real organization that is not known to have existed after 1617.

-- OR --

The Priory of Sion -- A European secret society founded in 1962 -- is a real organization created by Pierre Plantard.


       In the very next sentance, it is believed that author Dan Brown again attempts to deceive readers by omitting relevant information, including the actual name of the documents discovered in the French national library but also by concealing the fact that evidence exists, by way of an admission under oath to a French court, that Pierre Plantard not only had a hand in creating the parchments but also planted them in the library only to be discovered at a later date. These omissions are crucial elements to support a claim that the statement is based upon "fact." In order to be accurate and truthful, in the realm of the book, the statement would need to read:

FROM THE DA VINCI CODE:

In 1975, Paris's Bibliohèque Nationale discovered parchments known as Les Dossiers Secrets, identifying numerous members of the Priory of Sion, including Sir Isaac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo, and Leonardo da Vinci.


FACTUAL STATEMENT:

In 1975, Paris's Bibliohèque Nationale discovered parchments known as Les Dossiers Secrets d'Henri Lobineau, identifying numerous members of the Priory of Sion, including Sir Isaac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo, and Leonardo da Vinci, but later learned that the parchments were, in fact, planted there by Pierre Plantard in an effort to effect a hoax.


       Next, let's examine the next opening statement claimed to be "fact" and that is the one regarding the Opus Dei. Again, while this statement, on its face, is seemingly true it is not based upon anything "factual" but rather unsubstaniated "reports" from third parties who's motives are unknown to both the author and the general public. It is a "leap of faith" to unilaterally conclude that these reports are "facts," especially in light of the adamant denial by the Opus Dei. Even if these persons were interviewed by the author, as alleged, these claims still do not create facts. If this were true, any would-be author could take a trip to Roswell, New Mexico and interview many people who have claimed to have been abducted by aliens and taken aboard spacecrafts. Likewise, this does not automatically create a factual existence of extraterrestrials visiting Earth. In order to be accurate and truthful, again for the purposes of the book, the statement would need to read:

FROM THE DA VINCI CODE:

The Vatican prelature known as Opus Dei is a deeply devout Catholic sect that has been the topic of recent controversy due to reports of brain-washing, coercion, and a dangerous practice known as "corporal mortification."


FACTUAL STATEMENT:

The Vatican prelature known as Opus Dei is a deeply devout Catholic sect that has been the topic of recent controversy due to reports of brain-washing, coercion, and a dangerous practice known as "corporal mortification", all of which have been adamantly denied by the Opus Dei.


       The opening statement concludes with a reaffirmation that all of the author's "descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals" are accurate. As has been discovered from reading the above, we already know that the accuracy of "documents" mentioned in the book is anything but "accurate." In fact, if the book was properly researched, as alleged by the author, then it's a blatant misrepresentation of the true facts as they're known to exist and which are easily discoverable by anyone looking to find them.

FROM THE DA VINCI CODE:

All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.


FACTUAL STATEMENT:

All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate, except for references to the Priory of Sion, the Les Dossiers Secrets, and the Opus Dei, the latter of which is based upon unsubstantiated reports, all of which have been denied by the Opus Dei.


       Based upon the above, we need not go into specific statements contained within The Da Vinci Code such as, if it was believed that Jesus had the power to cure leprosy and blindness with just a touch and that it was also believed that he would be resurrected after his crucifixion, why would it then be necessary for Mary Magdalene to flee to France in fear of her life? (See p. 255, The Da Vinci Code). Would not the power of the resurrected Christ be enough to protect her? Questionable actions and accounts such as these are plentiful throughout the book, which should be given its due weight -- as that of a work of "fiction" and nothing more.

       Finally, it should be noted that two of three authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail, Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, have filed a lawsuit against Dan Brown for plagiarism, with the third author, Henry Lincoln, not taking part in the litigation due to ill-health but who had previously denounced the entire theory in an interview stating that, "In fact, we don't know anything about Béringer Saunière the Priest; we don't know anything about Pierre Plantard; we don't know anything about the Priory of Sion. We KNOW, and that's the word, we KNOW almost nothing. The demonstratable and provable facts are very, very few. All the rest is hearsay evidence, guess work, and interpretation. None of the books that have been written, including my own, have any validity whatsoever."

       As painful as that must have been for the author of The Da Vinci Code to hear, having relied heavily upon Holy Blood, Holy Grail for background information, Dan Brown's litigation troubles were just beginning as yet another claim of plagiarism was made against him when Lewis Perdue, author of Daughter of God (2001) and The Da Vinci Legacy (2004), filed a second lawsuit against him and his publisher.

       Only one thing is certain in this controversy of fact versus fiction, and that is that it generates a lot of income for authors and publishers as evidenced by the countless Da Vinci related conspiracy books that have been, and continue to be, written about it.



     See also, these cross-references:


     Sponsored links:

 


HOME  ·  ABOUT US  ·  CONTACT US  ·  ADVERTISING  ·  ADD URL  ·  DISCLAIMER  ·  PRIVACY POLICY

Copyright ©  Re-QUEST dot Net™  All rights reserved.